Reminded of this 70s hottie, I of course had to google him. He is still going strong in Vegas (where else?) but I now noticed that his youthful photos showed him to be a dead ringer for today's Justin Bieber. I promise on my hamster's grave that I will no longer mock the teeny boppers' love for this baby faced pop star - I now completely understand the attraction.
|Justin Bieber? No, it's Byron c. 1802
by Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun
The commentators of the late eighteenth century coined a word to describe what happened to these literary rock gods - to lionise. Accounts talk of these writers coming into the saloons as lions coming among the ordinary folk - hence the word. Walter Scott - NOT a hottie in my book - was perhaps the most celebrated one. Worship of him reached the period's equivalent of screaming, panties-throwing crowds yelling for Tom Jones - odd to think of now that Scott had fallen out of fashion. The key development was the rise of mass media to publicise their works. The old patronage system had been replaced by commercial publishers who had an interest in puffing their authors' reputations, building excitement for the next new work. The (male) authors became the story.
|Harriette Wilson - a lady of experience
You will have spotted the weakness in my argument. Byron was really an older girl's infatuation. He would have despised an Osmond or a Bieber, I fear. So when did the teeny ones get their chance to languish over portraits? I'm wondering if they had to wait until they were allowed out to the pictures, children's literature and music being heavily policed in the Victorian era. Maybe they had to wait for the likes of Creighton Hale who starred in Snow White - the 1916 version. According to Wiki, after playing the prince, he went on to a porn career (innocently I didn't imagine there was such a thing as a silent movie porn star).
So my question to you: does anyone know when pre-teen infatuations began? I'd love to know your thoughts.